Want to develop software more efficiently. Here are the top 4 ways to develop software more efficiently.
Software development has changed a lot over the last few decades. In that time, there have been a plethora of management fads that errant project managers have clung onto in the hopes of reinvigorating their software development. Some of these, such as SCRUM and Agile, have withstood the test of time and proven themselves to be useful tools. However, the best approach to software development is one that plays to your strengths and those of your team. Here are some of the ways that you can enhance your software development process.
How to Develop Software More Efficiently
1.Provide the Right Hardware
When you are developing software, it’s easy to forget about the importance of the hardware it runs on. You might be able to do all of your coding on a basic laptop, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that’s the best way to experience the software you build.
Providing everyone involved in the development process with devices that are better than just adequate will benefit your entire project. For one thing, your developers won’t be hamstrung by technical limitations. Depending on the nature of the software you’re developing, a reasonably powerful machine might be required to run it. If this is the case, then you will want to make sure that your developers have machines powerful enough to run the software flawlessly.
Similarly, when you are testing and refining your software, you want the testers to have the best possible experience with your product. If their experience is hampered by the limitations of the hardware they are using, this could ultimately reflect poorly on your work.
2.Always Have Clear Objectives
When you are developing software, results are what matters the most. If you want to make your development workflow more efficient then you need to always have goals and deadlines to work to. With clear goals and timescales in place, your team will be able to focus on how they will achieve the desired results.
Without this kind of disciplined approach, developers will begin to wander and become unfocused. Some managers like to think that by giving their developers this freedom, they will encourage them to think outside the box. However, in practice, it is nearly always better to focus on completing the core product and getting it up to standard before you start experimenting with more outlandish ideas.
3.Take the Agile Approach
Agile has become something of a buzzword amongst project managers, but don’t let that fool you. No doubt, there are some managers out there who are trading on Agile’s reputation without really understanding what it entails.
However, when it is used correctly, Agile portfolio management enables project & portfolio managers to oversee multiple projects more effectively. The linked Kanbanize article goes into more detail about agile portfolio management in general, but the main pillars of Agile it outlines are strongly applicable to research and development fields such as the software industry. Transparency, experimentation, and prioritization, and alignment can all be used to enhance your software development workflow. There is also a section on the Kanbanize website for software development specifically.
The Agile method can produce incredible results when applied to software development, but it needs to be implemented in the right way. However, if you aren’t able to clearly communicate the principles of the Agile method to the rest of your team, trying to be Agile can be more of a hindrance. If you can, try to work with someone who has direct experience in using Agile.
4.Don’t Prolong Your Development Cycle
Now that it is so commonplace and simple to update software and apps remotely, the development cycle for software is much less clearly defined than it used to be. In the past, the points at which software development began and ended were clearly delineated. Similarly, successive iterations of software like Photoshop used to have their own individual releases, whereas now the core product is simply updated.
You shouldn’t use post-release updates as an excuse for releasing an unfinished product. However, you should factor them in when you are deciding on the length of your development cycle. Prolonging the initial development period for a piece of software might seem like it will lead to better results, but it often has the opposite effect. The longer software is in development for, the more money it is costing. This then creates new pressures for developers.
Don’t be afraid to call time on development when you think the time is right. You can always update your software after its release, but you will only get one shot at the release itself. It is better to release a product with fewer working features than one that is overflowing with half-baked features that break all the time.
These are just some of the ways that project managers can enhance their efficiency and improve their overall workflow when overseeing software development. It is worth spending the time needed to hit upon the winning approach for you and your team. The potential efficiency gains are enormous.